Wordy Gertie

commentary on kids, expat life, and things that matter

About Me

About

I may be a mom, but us moms are capable of EXTRAORDINARY things! I'm a native of Michigan, a vagabond of the western U.S., and now an expat in Shanghai, China. I run, I write, I travel, I'm training for my first IRONMAN, and I'm attempting to master Mandarin. Expat life (especially with two kidlets) is amazing, frustrating and eye-opening, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Featured Posts

Diastasis/Umbilical Hernia Repair: Post-Surgery Photo Log

Diastasis/Umbilical Hernia Repair: Post-Surgery Photo Log

Feb 5, 2017 | 23 Comments

When people ask me if the surgery to repair my abdominal diastasis and umbilical hernia was worth it, I occasionally hesitate. The recovery is far from easy, the scar spans the entire width of my abdomen, and I still am dealing with minor little niggles here and there (incision itching, skin and muscle tightness, abdominal pain and […]

Diastasis/Hernia Surgery Recovery Day 4

Diastasis/Hernia Surgery Recovery Day 4

Feb 5, 2017 | No Comments

Surgery recovery is the pits. There’s no way around it. My two year old is slapping me in the face and I’m completely defenseless beneath the layers of gauze, the belly binder, two abdominal cavity drains and the laptop. And the pain. Holy crap balls it hurts. Thankfully it’s pretty manageable with pain meds, but […]

Your Facebook Ravings Are Giving Me An Anxiety Attack

Your Facebook Ravings Are Giving Me An Anxiety Attack

Feb 4, 2017 | 34 Comments

I don’t like contention. I don’t like stirring up strife. I actually really dislike the fact that I’ve always felt strongly compelled to stand up for what I believe in. I know a lot of people love a good socio-political discussion; I do too in many ways, but it tends to make me feel like I […]

1 Year In China

1 Year In China

Jan 7, 2017 | 36 Comments

At this time last year I was on a plane, flying somewhere over the Pacific, completely exhausted from weeks of packing and organizing and purging, and completely thrilled for and terrified of the great unknown that lay ahead. 365 days ago, our little family arrived in China. It’s so hard for me to believe! It’s […]

Diastasis Recti (& Hernia) Surgery–I’m Doing It

Diastasis Recti (& Hernia) Surgery–I’m Doing It

Dec 4, 2016 | 24 Comments

My poor abdominals. Two ginormous pregnancies have pushed them to their breaking point (literally). And in two days I’ll be having surgery to fix them. I know…shocking, considering my last diastasis update was like a year and a half ago and at that time everything seemed to be going so well. But everything’s sort of happened really quickly, […]

My First IRONMAN: A Stupidly Long Race Report

My First IRONMAN: A Stupidly Long Race Report

Oct 19, 2016 | 74 Comments

For a race that’s 140.6 miles long, you couldn’t have expected anything shorter than a novel for a race report, am I right? So I tried to organize it a little bit for those of you who think they might pass out halfway through. And, if all you really wanted were the numbers, here’s the quick […]

The Fallacy Of Black Lives Matter And The Alleged War On Blacks: A Mixed Girl’s Perspective

The Fallacy Of Black Lives Matter And The Alleged War On Blacks: A Mixed Girl’s Perspective

Jul 17, 2016 | 51 Comments

I’m mixed. biracial. mulatto. Whatever you want to call it, I’m half black. half white. Which makes me something of a conundrum within the black community, a community where you’re either in or you’re way WAY out, where if you’re not for the cause you’re for The Man. So long as us half-breeds toe the […]

Our 6 Month China-versary

Our 6 Month China-versary

Jul 5, 2016 | 4 Comments

Our first milestone: Six months living in China! What a whirlwind, fo’ reals. As I reflect on all that’s happened, all that’s changed, and all that’s been learned, I can’t help but get all Dickens-y about the whole experience. In all honesty, it’s been the best of times, it’s been the worst of times, it […]

Slow Grief

Slow Grief

Jun 2, 2016 | 25 Comments

I was having an enjoyable run today; the air was good, the sun was shining, and it was an easy day of laps around the soft, track infield, meaning it was a particularly mindless bout of exercise; fabulous. You can imagine my surprise then when I broke down crying, virtually out of nowhere, about 22 minutes into my […]

Our First Visitors!

Our First Visitors!

May 15, 2016 | 6 Comments

My brother and his amazing fiancée braved the masses, jet lag, and 28 hours of plane time to spend 10 days with us in our humble Chinese abode. And it was glorious! Having been here four and a half months now I was beginning to feel like the US didn’t really exist any more. Sounds strange, […]

F-A-T

F-A-T

May 1, 2016 | 26 Comments

How does such a small word carry so much weight (yes, pun intended)? Nary a day goes by that most of us don’t contemplate our size or figure or body dimensions to some degree. Some days I find myself standing in front of our floor to ceiling mirror, dissecting every roll and cellulite pock and wondering just […]

I Did It. I Registered For IRONMAN

I Did It. I Registered For IRONMAN

Apr 15, 2016 | 18 Comments

140.6 miles. 2.4 mile swim. 112 mile bike. 26.2 mile run. Totally doable, right? Right?! I know, it’s a crazy prospect. It’s a strange thing to want to do. But I’ve dreamed of competing in IRONMAN since the first time I saw a Kona World Championship on TV as a teenager. The one thing I […]

Settling In And Almost Quitting China

Settling In And Almost Quitting China

Jan 28, 2016 | 50 Comments

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted, which is probably a good thing because I think I’m finally over the worst of the initial moving anxiety, which will hopefully translate to fewer rant-y posts. Yay! After this one, of course 🙂 We’ve somehow been here three weeks already; here’s a quick recap to get you […]

The Virginia Shootings, Racism, And The Value Of Human Life

The Virginia Shootings, Racism, And The Value Of Human Life

Aug 27, 2015 | 9 Comments

And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I’m not talking about emotional […]

Losing a Child to SIDS: My Brother’s Story

Losing a Child to SIDS: My Brother’s Story

Apr 8, 2014 | 55 Comments

On December 31, 2006 I became an Auntie; I was ELATED. Three short months later, in a fashion I would never have imagined in a million years, my family and I would be encircling a bassinet in a cemetery. I had no idea Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) was a first-world reality, until it unexpectedly took […]

5 Things This Mormon Wish You Knew

5 Things This Mormon Wish You Knew

Mar 20, 2014 | 683 Comments

I’m a Mormon. It’s not something I talk about much, which is strange because my faith is actually a huge part of my life. I think the main reason is because I don’t like to feel judged, and I don’t want anyone else to assume I’m judging them. Religion is a very sacred and personal […]

No More Parental Judgment

No More Parental Judgment

Mar 6, 2014 | 176 Comments

Before I had a baby, I was completely oblivious to the insane number of choices I would be forced to make as a new parent. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, an innocent Google search on “birthing options” (try it if you don’t believe me) left me awestruck and somewhat terrified at […]

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